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When the Nickelodeon Was King (Silent)

A collection of vintage short subjects celebrating the early days of cinema, with appearances by Charlie Chaplin, Pearl White, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Lon Chaney, Harold Lloyd, Rudolph Valentino, and many others.
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List Price: $7.98
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Format:  DVD-R
sku:  ALP 8258D
Brand New
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DVD-R Details

  • Run Time: 1 hours, 10 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Released: August 20, 2019
  • Originally Released: 2019
  • Label: Alpha Video

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The nickelodeon was the first indoor space devoted exclusively to showing motion pictures. Previously, films were shown at burlesque theaters and vaudeville halls. For the cost of one nickel, audiences were treated to comedy shorts, serials, and newsreels. Their massive popularity ironically led to their decline, as large crowds and a demand for longer films meant that nickelodeons were soon phased out in favor of upscale movie houses. This collection offers some examples of the types of films that audiences thrilled to back then.

THE MOVIES MARCH ALONG 1896-1928 (1945): Motion picture archivist Irving K. Meginnis compiled this engaging overview of the silent era, from early experiments like The Kiss (1896) and The Great Train Robbery (1903) to masterpieces such as The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) and Scaramouche (1923) for use in schools, museums, and 16mm film clubs. Among the luminaries featured are John Bunny, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Theda Bara, William S. Hart, Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, Mabel Normand, Douglas Fairbanks, Rudolph Valentino, Lon Chaney, Ramon Novarro, Harold Lloyd, Gloria Swanson, and John Barrymore. There's even a glimpse of the first animated film ever made, Fantasmagorie (1908) by Émile Cohl.

KID'S AUTO RACE (1914): Also known as Kid Auto Races at Venice and The Pest, this Keystone comedy is the first appearance of Charlie Chaplin as his immortal character, The Little Tramp. Chaplin (as The Tramp) interferes with the filming of a "baby-cart race." The hat, cane, mustache, and funny walk of this refined vagrant would soon make Chaplin an instantly identifiable star all over the world.

PERILS FROM "PLUNDER" (1923): This abbreviated version of the otherwise lost serial Plunder, starring stunt queen Pearl White (The Perils of Pauline) was sold on the 8mm home movie market. Pearl is an adventuress looking for buried treasure hidden underneath a New York skyscraper, but first, she must escape from a sinking pit of quicksand. According to historian Kevin Brownlow, Pearl's stunt double John Stevenson (wearing a blonde wig) died jumping from a double-decker bus during the filming of Plunder. Fortunately (or unfortunately) that scene is not included in this truncated version.

SELECTED NEWSREELS FROM WORLD WAR I (1916-1918): The newsreel was an important part of the early moviegoing experience. Originally, they dealt almost exclusively with frivolous matters, and were played for their comedic value. World War I changed all that. Newsreels now kept audiences on the edge of their seats as the horrors going on in Europe unspooled in front of their eyes. Included are examples from series such as The Mutual Weekly, Gaumont Graphic, and The Selig-Tribune, all dealing with World War I.

This product is made-on-demand by the manufacturer using DVD-R recordable media. Almost all DVD players can play DVD-Rs (except for some older models made before 2000) - please consult your owner's manual for formats compatible with your player. These DVD-Rs may not play on all computers or DVD player/recorders. To address this, the manufacturer recommends viewing this product on a DVD player that does not have recording capability.
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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 613
  • UPC: 089218825896
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

Film Collectors & Archivists: Alpha Video is actively looking for rare and unusual pre-1943 motion pictures, in good condition, from Monogram, PRC, Tiffany, Chesterfield, and other independent studios for release on DVD. We are also interested in TV shows from the early 1950s. Share your passion for films with a large audience. Let us know what you have.
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